His rookie year showed that Wagner's ability was for real as he put up 13.4 points per game in only 29 minutes. Her dreams were halted at 23, and then Edebal returned to a place she couldn't recognize, and a life requiring long-term physical and mental rehabilitation. “Chuck was as unflappable as anyone I ever dealt with, with basketball, with games, injuries,” Brennan remembered. "It was his body language on the floor. Aleksandar Petrovic, Drazen’s older brother, described the impact his death had on the country of Croatia. Her budding basketball career, which included a spot on the Turkish national team, was destroyed on impact. The passage below details Petrovic's tragic death in 1993 and brings new details to light.

“One of the best ways I can describe him is he is the guy that changed the landscape for European players,” Brian Lewis of the New York Post said. The 28 year old's life and career were cut short just as his playing legend was about to lift off. Wow. His personal rivalry with Larry Bird is iconic, all the way from their battle in the 1979 NCAA Championship game through their haphazard landings on the NBA's two most storied franchises. At the time of the crash, he was not wearing a seatbelt and was thrown in the direction of the truck, causing him to receive deadly head trauma.

The driver swerved his truck off the road and broke through the median barrier that separated the northbound and southbound traffic. Reports at the time misidentified her name as Hilal Haene and her age as 53 - off by a considerable 30 years. I really respect him because he worked very, very, hard. I thought if I jumped I could stop dreaming.". Drazen Petrovic, who was one of the first European players to star in the NBA, was a legend in his home country of Croatia and quickly captivated U.S. basketball fans with his flashy, entertaining play. "The doctors said after six or eight years my brain would get back to as good as it was before, but it's not," she says. The press conference room was ‘pin drop’ quiet.

He made that team a dangerous team and one that I am convinced would have been a contender long-term if we had the chance to see Drazen’s career unfolded the way it should have.”, Like us on Facebook to see similar stories, Opinions | Fairfax County’s seismic changes turned Virginia blue — and they’re still happening, Olive Garden Is Opening Its First Location in This State.

You can order 'Drazen,' which comes out Monday, here. “Even now, talking about this, I start to cry,” Mrisc said about the morning after, being around his devastated brothers. Petrovic, with his season winding up in New Jersey, called her often, at one time sending his young friend flowers for a special occasion. The truck barreled its way through the median that separated the northbound and southbound lanes and was now in the middle of three southbound lanes. The most dynamic player in NBA history, at the pinnacle of his career, on one of the best teams of all-time, had contracted a debilitating condition that would threaten his life and end his career instantly. Lauded as one of the most promising prospects in recent memory previous to the 2004 draft, Livingston was slowly making progress with the Clippers, increasing his scoring average to 9.3 points to go with 5.1 assists and a steal in his ill-fated 2006-2007 season. I didn't want to kill myself," she says. “Three people in a vehicle, and three very different results,” Edebal said. Nicholas Goyak said from his home in McMinnville, Ore., that he had spoken with members of Petrovic’s family, and they confirmed that the Croatia native was killed. In his NBA career, he blossomed with New Jersey. To this day, Petrovic was and is a huge pioneer in the NBA globalizing as a league.

The contract he signed with blank salary terms adds to the impressive legend of his story. He was a dead-eye shooter from the three-point line, hitting them at a 45 percent clip in his two golden seasons, in which he reached what would be his career high, 22.3 points per game. He'd accomplished what most basketball players can only dream of, but he had only scratched the surface of his basketball potential, and he was going to discover how high he could go in the NBA. “This reminds you of how precious life is,” Daly told the reporters. He was also the first European player to be named All-NBA.”. His playing time jumped immediately to 20 minutes for the remainer of that season, then to 36.9 and 38 minutes the next two years. He was limited to four games in '04-'05, and his career, and life, would never be the same. He got out of the truck and from the side of the road began waving his hands with hope of gaining the attention of drivers who were heading towards Munich. You know Drazen’s story at the beginning of his journey in the USA. He was aware of the type of young women that often sought the company of athletes or celebrities, and carefully tried to decipher exactly the intentions of the young girls. She frequently finds herself between jobs, yearning for the life she enjoyed before the brain damage. Not long before the accident, Petrovic made his last phone call to Goyak to announce his latest accomplishment: a spot on the All-NBA third team. “Going way too fast,” Edebal said. He was the earliest reflection of what was happening, and what the American-born stars were going to have to face in the future.". Not only was Williams phenomenally ahead of his years on the court, he was a stand-up citizen and extremely hard worker, earning academic distinction at every stop.

At approximately 5:20 p.m., they encountered a truck that had crashed through the guard rails and was blocking all lanes of traffic. Szalantzy's attempt to turn away from the truck left Petrovic most vulnerable on impact. Edebal took the trip as a favor to Szalantzy, a longtime friend and former basketball teammate, who wanted company for the 250-mile trek from Munich to the airport in Frankfurt. Thankfully, Bill still works in the NBA, though in a place where his feet and ailing back can't limit him: the broadcast booth. You couldn’t get any better. “But this was devastating. Szalantzy saw the truck and clutched the steering wheel hard with both hands, hitting the brakes as the car slid left into the guardrail and back on to the road, the front right side of the vehicle—the passenger side, Petrovic’s side—slamming into the truck. He lifted off to finish the shot, twisted around a defender midair, then essentially broke the fall with his left leg...bent at a 90-degree angle under his body. It was, thought Miocic, unusual of Petrovic that he was so quickly enamored with Szalantzy. The Volkswagen Golf was left pushed into the right side of the truck and both front doors were forcefully pushed open. But he developed quickly with added playing time. Petrovic was characteristically very comfortable with his fans, often accommodating them not only with an autograph but also a photo and a conversation, but even then there was a limitation to his interaction and involvement. She will remember inconsequential people and things, then forget the most important.

When the flight attendant announced that the plane was missing one passenger, Aleksander Petrovic, Drazen’s older brother, and the assistant coach of the team, informed the attendants that one missing passenger was Drazen Petrovic and he made other arrangements. New Jersey was a blessing. Edebal, who was in the backseat, was thrown to the front seat, suffering serious injuries to her brain and breaking her arm and right hip. Levi may be living proof. "I used to be a national basketball player. They picked up Petrovic, who had arrived with the Croatian national team following a European Championships qualifying game in Poland. On their way back, Edebal sat behind the couple in the backseat.

She married German soccer star Oliver Bierhoff in 2001. Let's take a look back at some NBA greats (or potential greats) whose careers were cut short. American writers often touted him not for his mastery of the fundamentals but as a performer, as a second coming of Pete Maravich, as if it was the most sufficient way to articulate his style and impression. It is to Yao's credit that fans in China began wearing basketball jerseys and buying sneakers, and not just his own; Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady, and other NBA stars became icons and celebrities to idolizing Chinese kids and teenagers, whose biggest interest was now basketball. To newspaper readers in this country, where Edebal was scheduled to enter her second season at Niagara University, she wasn't even at the scene. 'Drazen' is written by Australian author Todd Spehr, who much like Petrovic, left his homeland to pursue a basketball career in the United States. He caught on with the Miami Heat after being cleared to start the 2008 season, but played only four games before being traded to the Grizzlies, then waived on the same day. "That was important to him." “Some girl is calling for me,” Petrovic told him. He blazed the trail for those guys. Despite suffering the serious injuries, she survived. What issues are on the ballot in California and Los Angeles County. Her brain was shaken and driven backward, Edebal says, resulting in eight comatose weeks and a rescinded scholarship at Niagara. Dzanan Musa, the Brooklyn Nets shooting guard/small forward, has a special connection to Petrovic. She recently moved from Germany with hopes of better luck in the job market. He was the first that came from ex Jugoslavia to the NBA. Petrovic's claim came to fruition that with sufficient playing time, he could become one of the greatest players of his day and a deadly scoring threat.

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